Chiffon pie that doesn't look right

There's something ineluctably aspic-y about this 1958 chiffon pie picture -- I can't escape the feeling that this is a pie filled with ground organ meat and shredded pickles.

I dunno, this just doesn't look appetizing.



  1. Interesting fact, Harry Baker created the chiffon cake in 1927 and managed to keep the recipe a secret for 20 years before selling it to General Mills.

      1. Well, if you replace the candied fruit with lardons, and the whipped cream with normal cream, you’ve basically got a quiche lorraine.

        (Another fun French-related fact: “chiffon” means “rag” or “tatter”… “rag pie”, hmm, tasty. Now with 10% more dust!)

  2. Why is the pie slice growing taller as it gets toward the tip?  Why does the tip appear to be staring at me?

  3. Totally would.  Would cover it in that Bird’s trifle topping thats mostly vegetable oil and sugar, too.  
    Hell yes.

    1. It’ll cost you extra; but the better establishments understand the value of customer service…

    1. I’m stuck on the chile con queso resemblance (Velveeta + Rotel), so I’d probably make this for Cinco de Mayo. 

  4. “Ineluctably” kind of ruined the happy ending for me.  Not as bad as “bespoke” but… not a word to use.  Ever.

  5. I can’t escape the feeling that this is a pie filled with ground organ meat and shredded pickles.

    I can’t believe that there isn’t something in British cuisine that is essentially this.

  6. Nobody does regrettable food better than James Lileks… 

        1.  Some of you guys won’t let up on the whole ‘Left/Right’ thing for even a second will you?

          1. Uh… you know, I think it’s pretty safe to say that Lileks started this one. He’s said some pretty abusive and uncharitable things about causes and people I really care about. I don’t think you have any right to assume that I’m being a fanatic because I find his beliefs both dangerously extreme and profoundly uncivil, thank you very much, Kaden.

            Given that sweeping, insulting generalizations — and NOT any specific political affiliation — are what turned me off of Lileks to start with (and I used to be quite a fan, actually, so it took him some effort), you are certainly not endearing yourself to me by committing a similar offense. If you had bothered to get to know me, you’d know I’m extremely skeptical of mainstream “liberals” and a pretty harsh critic of the left’s history of collaboration with Stalinism, and I have a habit of playing devil’s advocate for right-wingers when I think they have a reasonable point getting lost amid all the partisan noise.

            More than anything, I’m deeply insulted you’d put me on a political scale I don’t even believe in, just for correctly characterizing Lileks’s beliefs as (a) right-wing and (b) crackpot without insinuating in the slightest that those two concepts necessarily must coincide.

            (TL;DR: “I don’t know who shat in your cornflakes, Kaden, but it was not me.”)

  7. Post WWII America’s sudden appearance of a huge middle class, their faith in science, industry, and the possibilities the future might bring, gave birth to “instant” foods. It promised women more freedom and hyped itself as the modern way to cook. Using real ingredients (not to mention fresh) was your grandmother’s way. Pre-packaged, instant foods was the stuff of astronauts and would take little shelf room in your backyard atom bomb shelter. Fifty years later, name your dooms day scenario freak, is stacking up on more high tech, less fluffy versions. It was Julia Childs (with a little help of the Back to the Earth movement) who got Americans to consider what they were eating and why they were eating it.

    1.  But not too free. Betty Crocker’s original boxed cake mix included powdered eggs–all you had to do was add water and oil to it. But focus testing results were interpreted as showing that this made housewives feel “lazy,” like they weren’t doing enough for their families. They took the powdered eggs out, so you had to add water, oil, and crack and egg into it. Thus! Homemakers could feel modern and fulfilled.

      1.  I can just see a Kids in the Hall skit where Bruce in drag whines about having to add water and oil to the cake mix! “I thought this was supposed to get me out of the kitchen and, and,….”

    1. I have not actually seen this movie, but I was 13 when it came out so I heard about pretty much every scene at summer camp and so I am aware that this happened:

  8. Just speaking as someone who grew up in the 50s and 60s, my mother never served the prepackaged, instant  food except for the occasional jello. Not even the mashed potatoes in the box. Nor did I see it much in friends’ homes. We didn’t even have such junk food as existed then because junk food ‘cost too much’. 

    1. We ate real food, as well. Homemade chocolate cake with homemade chocolate buttercream frosting.

      1.  I don’t think there was much variety as far as fresh vegetables in the grocery. We ate frozen or canned vegetables that my mother boiled for a half hour. Not good.

        1. I suffered the boiling, too.  But we had carrots, turnips, parsnips and other root vegetables year round.  Probably why I won’t touch them as an adult.  Broccoli was year round.  Spring and summer vegetables like beans, peas, corn all came from the local farm stand.  We never ate canned.  Frozen was a back-up for the occasional too busy to cook fresh days.  This was in New England in the 60s.

  9. Having recently resumed eating meat after 30+ years as a vegetarian I also have recently resumed eating gelatin.  One of the wonderful gelatin based marvels I have discovered is chiffon pie.  While this picture looks horribly quiche like, I must say this entire post and thread have left me wanting to make a chiffon pie.  Mmmmm, strawberry chiffon pie….

  10. “I can’t escape the feeling that this is a pie filled with ground organ meat and shredded pickles.”
    You say that like it’s a bad thing.

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